I don’t want the new Facebook profile

I don’t want the new Facebook profile. It is only designed to give more space to the ads and therefore justify the $50billion that Facebook has been valued at in preparation for a public float of the company.

This was my intended status update last night after receiving a message on my homepage that said that my profile would soon be automatically switched over.

Facebook screen capture
Message from Zuckerberg

Apparently 99 of my 350 odd friends have already made the transition. Well good on them. I am not a follower, so just because around a third of my friends have switched, doesn’t mean that I have to.  Although I guess that power is out of my hands and into those of Zuckerberg’s acolytes.

Facebook is a world onto its own. It has been described as “a virtual monopoly without being declared a monopoly” in one opinion piece.  And as the Model T Ford of its time, Facebook prescribes the layout on every person’s profile. There are very few customisable or personalisation elements, unlike with Twitter or here on WordPress. They got rid of most of those in the last refurbish, banishing any external applications to a confusing little breadcrumb trail. The only thing tailored about a Facebook profile is the advertising in the right hand panel. The right hand panel that’s about to get bigger in the new template.

Currently, using my oh-so-accurate measuring system (old school ruler place against the screen) the ad panel is 4cm, the middle wall area is 13.5cm and the left column is 4.7cm wide. On the new profile it is 5.8cm for the ad space, 12.7cm for the wall area and 4.2cm for the profile pic in the left hand column. That’s some substantial change we’re seeing. This year it’s the substance that’s getting skinny while the advertising gets fat. Granted, they try to cover up this giant growth spurt for the ads with a new feature, the Friendship page. A feature that is only going to further enhance the Stalkerbook reputation.

I might sound narky and pre-menstrual about this, but the thing is that if you are a business trying to target me, online ads on Facebook are your best bets. Given that you are logged in alongside all manner of information and detail about you, the Facebook ad database should toss up clickable ads. I’ve clicked on links to RMIT Alumni and in the lead up the Victorian State Election, a Facebook ad prompted me to update my address by making it as easy as pointing my mouse at it. I also see plenty of other ads that interest me, which isn’t the case on other websites.

I don’t mind Facebook having ads, but with the whole “Facebook is valued at $50 billion” we’ve been hearing and reading about and the talk of a public stock float it seems that the social networking platform we underpin our online identities with, is about to do us over just like how it happened in the movie The Social Network.


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